If journalism is currently undergoing a massive face-lift then so is the modern journalism student. Long gone are the days when print was the glorious goal all would-be storytellers aspired to. Now, it’s all about the Interweb. You now? That weird place that’s not really a place but actually all around us? Yes, that’s were journalism is headed.
And to make matters worse (or better, depending on which side of 50 you’re reading this from), blogging has become instrumental in covering news. Really, Blogging 101 classes are just around the corner for eager journalism students. Meanwhile, if you’re still toiling under a pile of books in a dim-lit recess of you’re school library, stop. Seriously. Wake up and smell the coffee. Then drink it, grab a laptop and start blogging.
Need more incentive?
Here are the top 4 reasons a journalism student should be blogging. ASAP.
- It helps you study. Stop laughing because I’m dead serious. The more you do something, the better you become at it and writing is no exception. After you’ve churned out a couple dozen blog posts, those 10 page essays will seem far less daunting than they do now. It’s all about flow. Once you open the creative valves, it’s kind of hard to stop.
- Blogs get you hired. More and more employers in the journalism arena are looking for battle-tested young guns who’ve explored self-publishing. Not only does a blog provide a great portfolio, it shows you’re willing to go beyond the assignments you are given at school. Nothing shows you’re passionate about writing like blogging regularly.
- It builds your audience. No readers, no journalists. The correlation is quite primary. To find those elusive readers, blogging helps. By interacting with readers, listening to feedback and analyzing website stats, it is possible to grasp what truly interests a future audience and how to capture it. Remember, your very own massive readership is just waiting to be conquered.
- Blogs help you become more knowledgeable. Writing regularly about a specific subject forces one not only to constantly gather the most up to date information but also to create a plethora of useful contacts. By blogging, a journalism student gets acquainted with “beat writing” in its simplest form. Quick, concise and updated information. Exactly what the modern news reader is looking for.
Looking for some inspiration?
If you’re a hockey fan (and who isn’t), you’ll enjoy Mathias Brunet’s quirky and insightful posts on his La Presse blog. The comments section, which hides some of the business’ most knowledgeable pundits, is a great example of value added.
Critical about the whole communications and journalism business? Give Craig Silverman’s Regret the Error blog a tour. A stickler for fact verification, he points out the blatant miscues that plague today’s publications.
Looking for a young local talent to emulate? Alex Turp and his Turp Territory is a good place to start. An alumnus from Concordia University’s journalism program, he speaks his mind about a wide variety of subjects including politics, arts, media and sports.